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Alexander Melnikov, piano; 11/18/2011


Alexander Melnikov, piano

Friday, November 18, 2011
7:00 PM
Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall


The 24 Preludes and Fugues, op. 87, by Dmitri Shostakovich are a masterpiece of the piano repertoire, featuring one each in the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. Acclaimed pianist Alexander Melnikov’s recent disc of the work has been greeted with rave reviews, prizes, and awards, including BBC Music Magazine’s 2011 Instrumental Recording of the Year. It is a rare treat to hear this work in its entirety. Sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.

Due to the extended nature of this program, please note the early start time; complimentary refreshments are served during the two intermissions.

Reserved Seating. Tickets: $25/20/6 or 802-443-MIDD (6433).

Read the press release>>



Preludes and Fugues, Opus 87



Prelude No. 1 in C Major

Fugue No. 1 in C Major

Prelude No. 2 in A minor

Fugue No. 2 in A minor

Prelude No. 3 in G Major

Fugue No. 3 in G Major

Prelude No. 4 in E minor

Fugue No. 4 in E minor

Prelude No. 5 in D Major

Fugue No. 5 in D Major

Prelude No. 6 in B minor

Fugue No. 6 in B minor

Prelude No. 7 in A Major

Fugue No. 7 in A Major

Prelude No. 8 in F-sharp minor

Fugue No. 8 in F-sharp minor

Prelude No. 9 in E Major

Fugue No. 9 in E Major

Prelude No. 10 in C-sharp minor

Fugue No. 10 in C-sharp minor

Prelude No. 11 in B Major

Fugue No. 11 in B Major

Prelude No. 12 in G-sharp minor

Fugue No. 12 in G-sharp minor




Prelude No. 13 in F-sharp Major

Fugue No. 13 in F-sharp Major

Prelude No. 14 in E-flat minor

Fugue No. 14 in E-flat minor

Prelude No. 15 in D-flat Major

Fugue No. 15 in D-flat Major

Prelude No. 16 in B-flat minor

Fugue No. 16 in B-flat minor




Prelude No. 17 in A-flat minor

Fugue No. 17 in A-flat minor

Prelude No. 18 in F minor

Fugue No. 18 in F minor

Prelude No. 19 in E-flat Major

Fugue No. 19 in E-flat Major

Prelude No. 20 in C minor

Fugue No. 20 in C minor

Prelude No. 21 in B-flat Major

Fugue No. 21 in B-flat Major

Prelude No. 22 in G minor

Fugue No. 22 in G minor

Prelude No. 23 in F Major

Fugue No. 23 in F Major

Prelude No. 24 in D minor

Fugue No. 24 in D minor




Alexander Melnikov introduces his recording of Dmitry Shostakovitch's Preludes & Fugues.

Artist Biography

Alexander Melnikov, born in Moscow in 1973, performed Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto at the age of 12 and was heavily influenced by Sviatoslav Richter.  Melnikov’s involvement with historically informed performance began at 18; today, it continues to play an important role in his repertoire.  In addition to performances on the fortepiano, Melnikov shares the stage with Andreas Staier in a special collaboration featuring Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov – piano) and J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier – harpsichord.)

Melnikov’s recording of the Shostakovich cycle, released in 2010 with harmonia mundi, was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award 2011 in the instrumental category, “Choc de classica” for the best recording in 2010, and the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik 2010.  After a highly-acclaimed performance at Vienna’s Konzerthaus in November 2010, Melnikov will bring this cycle to Berlin, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Tokyo and Nagoya in the 2011-12 season.

Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won both Germany’s ECHO Klassik prize and a Gramophone Award.  This CD, which has become a reference recording of this repertoire, was also nominated for the Grammy.  Melnikov has recorded works by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, among others, for harmonia mundi as well; his highly-anticipated recording of Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Teodor Currentzis will be released shortly.

Chamber music provides an essential complement to Melnikov’s activities.  In addition to Isabelle Faust, his colleagues include Alexander Rudin and Jean-Guihen Queyras.  He also performs as a member of a wind quintet featuring Teunis van der Zwart (horn), Marcel Ponseele (oboe), Lorenzo Coppola (clarinet) and Javier Zafra (bassoon).

As a recitalist, Melnikov has appeared in halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, and London’s Wigmore Hall.  As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Russian National Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra (under Charles Dutoit), Rotterdam Philharmonic (under Velery Gergiev), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Melnikov’s recent highlights include appearances with the HR-Sinfonieorchseter (under Paavo Järvi), NHK Symphony (under Alexander Vedernikov), Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and Mahler Chamber Orchsetra (under Teodor Currentzis).  Upcoming appearances include solo and duo recital tours to the United States, Japan, and across Europe, as well as performances with such orchestras as Concerto Köln, NDR Sinfonieorchseter, HR-Sinfonieorchester and SWR Sinfonieorchseter Baden-Baden & Freiburg.



Press Quotes

"Melnikov’s playing has wonderful colour and imagination ... His pianissimi are astonishing, with long, meticulously nuanced passages often remaining very, very quiet, while, in the sculpted fugues, the intensification of volume runs to a purposeful plan ... Everything is testament to reflection and skill, yet the pianist is not lecturing, but laughing, dreaming, lamenting and dancing."--Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“His playing is always refined, yet resolutely committed. His great achievement is to be simultaneously conspicuous and discreet, both sensitive and full of character.”--Bavarian radio

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